Motives

by Nathan Hamm on 5/13/2005 · 4 comments

RFE/RL spoke to a protester occupying the regional administration building in Andijon. Here is what he said their demands are:

Talking to RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service from the occupied regional administration building, one of the protesters, Sharipjon Shakirov, says this is the only demand being put forward to the government.

“We have only one demand. They should release those guys who were imprisoned under slander, including [Akramiya founder] Akram Yuldoshev,” Shakirov said.

Yuldoshev has been imprisoned for the past four years.

Now I’m even more on edge… Yuldoshev (Yuldashev seems to be a more common spelling) is reported to be a former Hizb ut-Tahrir member, though those sympathetic to him dispute this. He may have gotten a raw deal, but it understandably puts the people on edge when people proclaiming the superiority of Islamic philosophy take up arms and seize a city.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 4 comments }

Schwartz May 13, 2005 at 9:22 am

Nathan,

A jumping-the-guns hypothetical: a “colour revolution” occurs in Uzbekistan, spearheaded by Hizb ut-Tahrir, Bolshevik-style. What could we expect in terms of the type of government (and governing)?

I’ll say this much for Hizb ut-Tahrir: they are certainly not your “everyday brand” of Islamists.

-Schwartz

david_walther May 13, 2005 at 9:40 am

I find it really hard to even think about Hizb ut-Tahir at this point—as I was going to work this morning, just after reading the first BBC reports, I asked myself, “what is the government going to say about this?” and I immediately guessed that no matter what happens, they will try to pin this in Hizb ut-Tahir. Contrary to all the opinions floating around, I think it’s far early days to be making guesses about this–Russian news says one thing, BBC says one thing, AP says another (about who these people are and what their motives are). Now that the city appears to be totally blocked from the outside world, if they end up “destroying” these guys like I imagine they will, I don’t know if we will ever actually know who they were or why they did this.

Not that your point is not an interesting one, Schwartz, and I don’t mean to discourage discussion of it, but I just wanted to insert a reminder that the government here blames Hizb ut Tahir for basically every traffic light that breaks.

Lyndon May 13, 2005 at 10:10 am

Below is some speculation on the possibilities for a revolution in Uzbekistan from a Duma deputy – they not usually the most insightful sources of analysis, I know, but this was available quick and already in English. Everyone seems to have an angle here – Russian reports often quote analysts equating rebels or protesters to drug traffickers, for example – so it’s really hard to get the “truth” from any one published source (it may even be impossible to arrive at a reasonable approximation of the truth by looking at all of the available reports in aggregate).

NO REASON TO TALK OF VELVET REVOLUTION IN UZBEKISTAN – KOSACHEV
17:26
URL: http://en.rian.ru/world/20050513/39979066.html

MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) – Head of the State Duma committee on international affairs Konstantin Kosachev says so far there is no reason to talk of a velvet revolution being schemed currently in for Uzbekistan.

“Talking of a velvet revolution scheme is premature. It is rather a popular reaction to what is going on in Uzbekistan and the adjacent states,” Kosachev told journalists, having noted that there were “no grounds” to talk of third countries being involved.

“It is premature due to the lack of information to draw any definite conclusions,” the Duma deputy said. Nevertheless, he gave versions of the developments in Uzbekistan.

The first, local version may be evidence of a conflict between the authorities and residents of Andizhan. Second, “it can be only the beginning. Only a weak link has shown up and things may spill over the entire Republic of Uzbekistan,” Kosachev said. “If the first version is the matter, things have to be cleared up and the culprits punished,” he says. If it turns out to be an all-encompassing event, then “it is an alarming circumstance,” Kosachev said.

Uzbekistan is not the most undemocratic state and the possibility of a political dialogue between the authorities and civil society has not been exhausted at all, he noted. Kosachev warned participants in street demonstrations that they should not cherish illusions that meetings and demonstrations may sooner reach the desired result than a political dialogue. “It is an illusion,” Kosachev says.

He did not rule out the possibility of Russia’s involvement as an intermediary between the authorities and residents of Andizhan. “I’d welcome Russia’s possible participation in the process if it can prevent the further bloodshed,” Kosachev said.

He also said that the Fergana valley is among the most unstable regions in Central Asia and “we have expected alarming events to happen there sooner or later.”

tia June 1, 2005 at 6:33 pm

My name is tia, and i am doing an essay on the friday 13th happenings, russia, the motives of terrorists. i have been searching the net for hours, and i still cant find REAL motives in plain english for why these terrorists did this!
they say there was lots of reasons, but there are no specifics, somebody should create an easy to find site for bozos like me to understand what the hell is ging on these days.

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